Thursday, 20 March 2014

John Grenham: Help me find my Roots, Toots

John Grenham starts his St Patrick's Day Irish Roots column with
"I’ve always had a bit of a problem saying that I’m proud to be Irish. It’s not much of an achievement, after all. I merely picked the right ancestors.
Facetiousness aside, the whole idea of national pride just feels slightly suspect, tainted by connections with bullying, racism and ethnic cleansing."
Inserting English where Grenham writes Irish I share his sentiments. I feel the same as a Canadian, which I picked rather than my ancestors, when I think of some of the social injustice perpetrated here not to mention over-the-top nationalism exhibited at events like the Olympics.

If researching family history, especially with DNA, teaches us anything it's that we all have a geographic range of ancestry. Let's celebrate our roots, and respect others celebrating their's.

2 comments:

Susan said...

If only we could all exercise understanding and respect.

Barbara said...

John, thank you for this. I have never made the connection between nationalistic pride and bullying before but it makes complete sense to me. And maybe that's what traditionally has set us apart from our neighbours to the south. Although we did (and continue to do) our share of "bullying" within our own country, we didn't do so much of it outside our borders. And I'm sure that it is this connection, which I have felt without being able to name, that disturbs me about our current government's flag waving.

May our family histories highlight our connections and may whatever pride we feel be for who our ancestors were personally not what they were nationally.